You’re as sweet as pie!
If your aunt says this to you, she doesn’t literally mean you taste like cherries or apples. She means you have a lovely personality!
By saying “you’re as sweet as pie,” she’s comparing two very different things: you and a dessert. That’s a simile!
While writing factually can be good for scientific papers or academic articles, using similes will make your creative writing more exciting and engaging.
So, let’s look at some examples of similes so you can start practicing!
One of the connecting words you can use for a simile is as. Simply place it between the two things you’re comparing!
There are generally two ways you will see as:
Here are some simile examples with as by itself:
And here are some simile examples with “as ___ as…”:
The other comparison word you can use for similes is like. You can use it the same way - between the two parts of the comparison.
Here are some simile examples with like:
The fairy lights were like twinkling stars.
Just because something has a grammatical name doesn’t mean it’s complicated. There are lots of similes that are great for kids.
For example, here are some similes with animals:
Similes are valuable tools for expressing feelings and emotions, as well. Try some of these and guess where the connector word is:
See? When you get the hang of it, it really isn’t that hard!
You probably use similes in your everyday speech without realizing it!
Here are some examples of common similes:
She’s as sweet as honey.
Similes are a classic figure of speech – which is why they show up so much in classic literature!
Here are some famous examples from authors you might recognize:
Homer was an ancient Greek poet who wrote several epic poems, including The Iliad and The Odyssey. And he’s given his name to a special kind of simile: a Homeric simile!
This type of simile is also called an epic simile, another type of descriptive language. But rather than just a few words, a Homeric simile makes the comparison over many lines; in that way, it’s similar to an extended metaphor!
Here are some short examples of Homeric similes: (All translations are by A.T. Murray)
Forrest Gump may not be classic literature, but it’s certainly a classic movie! And one of the most famous lines is a simile:
Because similes are so useful for making comparisons, this figure of speech always comes up in song lyrics.
Here are some examples of famous songs that use similes:
Similar to song lyrics, advertising slogans use similes because they’re short and to the point. It’s an easy way to convey ideas without using much space. Plus, it’s easy for people to remember them.
Here are some examples of similes in advertising slogans:
Ask yourself, is it explicit or implicit? Direct or indirect?
This is the difference between similes and metaphors.
In other words, a simile is obvious, and a metaphor takes a little more thinking. Often, this makes a metaphor sound more poetic. But both are excellent for making descriptive writing more engaging.
When you’re writing, how do you differentiate between a simile and a metaphor?
It’s simple! A simile will use like or as, and a metaphor won’t use either.
Here are some examples of similar sentences where one uses a simile, and the other uses a metaphor.
(Note: You can’t necessarily just get rid of the connecting word in a simile – you might need to change around the sentence or add something to it.)
Are you as bright as a whip now that you’ve finished this article? Of course, you are!
You’ve learned how valuable similes are in the English language, the different types of similes, and how to use them.
Here’s the general rule: use a simile for explicit comparisons between two things. And to write a simile, use like or as.
Similes show up everywhere, from everyday conversations to classic literature. So when you’re writing stories or essays, practice using similes, and you’ll be a creative genius in no time!
For more great grammar articles, check out the other pages on this site. There are lots of exciting things to explore, such as examples of metaphors, alliteration, parts of speech, active vs. passive voice, and so much more.